Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

April 29, 2011

Help Me Pick a Colour Again

Wow - thanks for all the fabulously helpful suggestions on my earlier post about an upcoming DIY project.  In anticipation of the warmer weather I'm really getting my ducks in a row in terms of planning projects.  Next on my list of things to agonize over: this vintage solid wood table I found curbside on garbage day in 2010 (Tanya Time, what can I say?).   

I'm going to use it as a place for the bedroom accent pillows when they aren't in use.  My current system is not working:

I waffled months earlier about what to do with this table (polka dots, solid colour?) but now that I know where I'm going to put it, it should be easier.  At the very least, I promise this is the last time I'll beg for help picking a colour/pattern (you're all just so darn creative!)  Before I commit to anything, go wild: tell me how you envision this table.  Have any inspiring before/after photos of your own furniture makeovers? 

Below are some photos of where the table shall soon live. 

P.S. Click here for more bedroom photos - including the "before". 

April 28, 2011

Half Bath: Fresh Start

Although I tend to work at a snail's pace when it comes to projects (I call it "Tanya Time"), I really stalled on the half bath attached to the guest room.  I loved the accessories (click here to see them, plus a shot of the hideous yellow 70s bathroom that this room previously was) but I couldn't work with them.  I was really dragging my feet figuring out artwork, etc., and it was hard to create a nice transition from the guest bedroom, which has a lot of watery hues.  After my mom gifted me some polka dot towels in a pale blue/turquoise, I realized the bathroom needed a fresh start. 

So, I'm back to square one and the bathroom is even more spartan - if that is at all possible - but I'm feeling more excited about the room.  Of course, the light fixture switcheroo (see here & here) helped and I have a great art project in mind for the big empty space. 

Before I dive in any deeper, what are your suggestions?  Have any of your rooms really stumped you?

You can see the towels in the mirror

This glass dish was a cheap-o estate sale find.  It isn't a
soap dish but I'm using it as one!
Read more »

April 27, 2011

Marimekko & Table for Two

This Mid2Mod post about Marimekko reminded me that I haven't posted photos of the Marimekko table runner my mom, who visited me in March, sewed for me.  She purchased a Marimekko remnant for placemats or an apron - she just knew I liked the pattern.  Instead, I asked her to make a small table runner I could use in lieu of placemats that would also protect the centre of the table from the heat of a casserole dish, etc.  Anyone with teak knows you have to be careful placing hot or damp things on the wood. 

And, voilà!

In true Dans le Townhouse fashion, I haven't ironed the runner or set the
table "properly" - this is exactly how we use it.  No staging here!

She even made two matching cloth napkins, plus a spare - which I thought was genius.

To make the remnant stretch (although we would have done this anyway, because Marimekko fabric can be pricey) she used a white felted cotton lining.  This created a bit of padding, too.

Perfect for dinner for two!
Read more »

April 26, 2011

Some Loser Painted It Yellow

I spotted this fantastically simple & beautiful coffee table makeover over at Modern Jane and it reminded me of a funny story.

Years and years ago my Hubby (who was only boyfriend then) inherited an identical table.  But he inherited it in the original blah wood finish.  Thrifty even then, I convinced him to paint it a fun colour.  Because he was obsessed with orange and yellow in those days, I suggested pale yellow.  It turned out ho-hum - a bit tacky, even (it was a horrid shade of yellow - like a bleached egg yolk).  He used it for years, but then it ended up at his dad's because I prefer ottomans and didn't want a coffee table when we finally moved in together.  Fast forward to a few years later and Hubby finds out a childhood friend lives near us in the city we had just moved to.  Hubby goes to visit him and spots a yellow coffee table.  Intrigued, he asks his friend where he got it and the friend says that Hubby's dad gave it to him.  Hubby's friend thought it was ho-hum too because, not knowing it was formerly ours, he said something to the effect of, "too bad some loser painted it yellow". 

P.S.  See the before & after post of the lovely white table makeover at Modern Jane by clicking here.
Read more »

April 25, 2011

Art Attack: Lotta Nieminen

For those new to my blog, I wholeheartedly support Finnish and Hungarian peeps because of my familial ties.  But, Finnish family or not, this Helsinki artist has the most impressive portfolio.  From her gorgeous illustrations to her fantastic graphic design, I'm in awe.  Thanks to Design is Mine for the introduction!  Read more about Lotta Nieminen here.

United Airlines
Image Source

Image Source

Businessweek: Global 2
Image Source

Image Source
Such gorgeous packaging would make me buy this . . .
Read more »

April 22, 2011

Help Me Pick A Colour, Any Colour

Well, as long as it is from my "approved" list:

But if you have a better colour choice, I am all ears . . .

What are we picking the colour for?  My office (newly adorned with a silhouette gallery wall & fancy magnetic board) is one of our less colourful rooms.  In an effort to create more "flow," I have been injecting some pops of colour so it suits the rest of the townhouse décor.  Remember my bookcase tweaking post?  I'm on a roll.  So, next on the lengthy list of things I plan to spray paint when it is no longer freezing is another office item: a garbage can.

My mom found it yard-saling and had grand plans for it that never came to fruition (hey, she has a long to-do list too).  Somehow (yoink) it became mine.  It has been hiding beside the bed and I have been using a white vase in the office, but it is time to switch things up.

Using a vase as a garbage can

I've been using this pillow my mom DIY'd, from fabric she bought in her teens, as my colour inspiration for the office.  Scroll down for other office pics and then give me your feedback on what colour I should choose for my newest project!  But, because weather is a factor please don't expect a "results" post until July, August - you know, when it stops hailing.  Stupid Ontario. 

A bit more orange was added to the bookcase

This chair & footstool never photographs as "warm" as it is in
real life but this is a pretty good indication of the colour, which is a sort
of an apricot-y orange tweed

Read more »

April 21, 2011

DIY Magnetic Memo Board Created with Magnetic Paint

I recently shared photos of my new silhouette gallery wall.  I'm so excited, it is hard to turn my chair around and actually do work because I just keep ogling my silhouette collection, which is finally on display.  I'm also pretty excited about the magnetic board I made that hangs, very discretely, among my silhouettes - much better than my ratty old bulletin board!

DIY magnetic memo board

Here's how to turn any smooth into a magnetic memo board, using paint!

I started with a great vintage frame, which wasn't easy to find!  (The frame also has a mirror, which is what I applied the paint to).

I love the ornate details:

I took the mirror and frame apart, and set up a place to paint in my basement, covering the floor with some cardboard.  I cleaned the mirror thoroughly to remove any dust or grime.

Turning a mirror into a magnetic surface

In my basement (but you should use a well-ventilated area), I applied the Rust-Oleum magnetic paint to my mirror with a small roller.  As suggested on the can, I applied numerous, very thin coats.  The manufacturer claims three coats will work, but that is a lie.  I literally used almost the whole can before it would hold a magnet.  After using almost all of the paint, I could finally get a magnet to stick & hold up some paper.  

Then I roughed up the frame with sand paper, cleaned it, and applied some leftover magnetic paint with a paintbrush - it took two coats for even coverage.  I wanted the frame and magnetic surface to be the same colour.

Although it took a few days to finally get all of the paint on, the results are impressive - I created a magnetic surface from a mirror and a can of paint! 

Some tips for using magnetic paint:
  • Allow more than the recommended drying time in between coats for a smooth surface
  • Mix the paint really well each time you use it
  • Buy a nice smooth, low pile roller that won't create "dimpling"
  • Keep a magnet handy to test the magnetism after each coat dries
  • Don't fool yourself into thinking this can be done in an afternoon

DIY magnetic memo board
Does magnetic paint work?
I didn't let it dry enough in between coats, so I don't have the smoothest
surface ever, but it works!
Tips for using magnetic paint // What not to do
Create a magnetic surface (almost) anywhere
Proof of magnetism
Create a DIY modern memo board

Now it is time to rock the magnetic poetry.  Have you tried using magnetic paint for any projects?  I have to admit, this stuff is pretty cool!  Here's a tour of my vintage/modern home office, so you can see how this new DIY magnetic memo board add some function without sacrificing a modern style.
Read more »

April 20, 2011

A Note to My Kitchen

Try to be more like this kitchen (minus the valence):

Via Design Manifest

Or this one:

Via StyleLinx

Honestly, I think I am just loving the sunny, brightness of these kitchens.  The photos below represent the kinda weather I'm lookin' at and it makes the whole house dreary.  I have oodles of marking to do & all I want to do is curl up with a good book.  How about everyone gets perfect!?! 



Read more »

April 19, 2011

Silhouette Wall

Sunday was a momentous day: for the first time in the years & years of my collecting (and now months of blogging about) silhouettes, my collection is finally on the wall in my office.  Without further ado, behold:

That is my new DIY'd magnetic board in the centre

I first fiddled with my arrangement on the floor, then used templates to "test" it out on the wall.  But, I ended up shifting around a few as we were hanging anyway. 

Playing with the arrangement before committing

Anyone who has said that a gallery wall is an easy project LIES, or else I am doing it wrong.  It took bloody forever to decide on arrangement, then get everything straight & balanced.  We missed dinner for this project and ate at 9:00p.m!  (Perhaps I am extra cranky because of the frame fiasco).  But, the before & after difference makes me happy enough to forget the headache and tell everyone how easy this was.

The REAL "Before"

The latest "Before"

Here it is, one last time . . .

Still to do: hide the closet track to make my closet-to-nook conversion complete.  We have kept the doors in case the next owners want to convert this back into a closet.  Because we installed new floors when we moved in, there are no holes for the doors on the floor.  Regardless, the doors will be an easy install project should they been needed again.  But I like the openness of the office without a closet and it suits my purposes.

Tomorrow I will tell you about Phase I of my DIY magnetic chalkboard, seen on the silhouette wall.
Read more »
© Dans le Lakehouse | All rights reserved.
See What Inspires Me on Pinterest